Your stuff is now unpacked and placed in relative proximity to its intended location. But what about all those boxes, the packing material, the pieces of tape, and the other trash from your unpacking exercise? Most of it is bulky, not big. The boxes can be cleaned out of packing material and disassembled. The packing can be scrunched down and stuffed into heavy-duty trash bags for disposal. The boxes can be recycled or sold back to the mover or rental company. Here are some smart moving suggestions.
Recycling makes sense. Unfortunately, the way it’s mandated in some areas doesn’t always seem to make sense. One container is for cans, another for glass, another for paper—and a separate truck burns excessive hydrocarbons to pick up these expensive recycling containers at your curb.
Even so, recycling or reusing moving materials makes good sense. Most moving materials can be reused in their present state without the assistance of a remanufacturer. Moving boxes are still boxes. Packing peanuts are still packing. Wrapping materials are still useful for something. So check with local powers-that-be regarding recycling regulations and schedules for picking up or dropping off. And, if at all possible, reuse rather than recycle.
If you can’t easily find a recycling center near you, or have specialized recycling needs, check www.Earth911.org.
If you purchased standard moving boxes (1.5, 3, 4.5, 6 cubic feet, wardrobe and dishpacks), you can probably resell them. Who wants them? Moving companies, moving vehicle rental stores, other movees. How much will you get for them? Typically about one-third to one-half of their new price. For example, a 3 cu. ft. box that sells new for $3-4 may get you $1-2 as a used box—if in good shape. Your moving agent may buy them back. Or you may have only rented the boxes from the agent.
If your employer is paying for the move, you can’t ethically sell the boxes unless you then give the resulting money to your employer. But you can give the empty boxes to the moving crew who can sell them to the moving company as your employer’s gratuity to them. Get a receipt.
An then there’s all the other packing stuff: styrofoam peanuts, packing paper, cardboard. What to do with it? Some can and should be recycled. Other materials can be used for packing gifts for mailing. Still others are just plain trash and should be discarded or recycled as appropriate. Consider donating packing materials to a worthwhile local charity. For example, a rescue mission may use the materials in their work shelter’s shipping department.